The legendary Russian coach Viktor Tikhonov who steered the Soviet Union to three consecutive gold medal finishes in the ice hockey event of the Winter Olympics from 1984 to 1992, succumbs to an undisclosed long illness at the age of 84.
However, Tikhonov’s heroics fall short in the 1980 edition of the games as the United States which is represented by inexperienced collegiate players wielded the upset axe in cutting down to size the mighty Russian team in the semi-final round. The sweet victory of the Americans was then dubbed as the enigmatic “Miracle on Ice,” a phrase that will be forever etched into the minds of millions that had witnessed the game from all across the world.
The Russian Ice Hockey Federation lamented with Tikhonov’s loss as it quipped, “Russian sport has suffered an irreplaceable loss.”
The head of the Russian Hockey Federation, Vladislav Tretiak who manned the goalkeeper chores for Tikohonov’s vaunted Soviet team stated, “The entire global hockey community has lost a great coach.”
The feisty Tikhonov led the Soviet Union to eight world championships that dated back from 1978 to 1990.
He is not only a fierce coach as he is also an accomplished player as well.
Tikhonov carried the cudgels for CSKA Moscow in amassing 13 straight Soviet titles from 1977 to 1989. Prior to this amazing feat, Tikhonov already collared four Soviet crowns from 1951 to 1954.
The chink on Tikhonov’s armor is his Russian team’s sorry seatback at the hands of the US at the 1980 Lake Placid Games where the Cold War between the two nations is at its peak.